Baltimore Ravens vs. Indianapolis Colts Preview, Prediction, Where To Watch
By Brett Foote
Jan 6, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Bernard Pearce (30) is pursued by Indianapolis Colts safety Antoine Bethea (41) and cornerback Darius Butler (20) on a 43-yard gain in the fourth quarter in the AFC Wild Card playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens defeated the Colts 24-9. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports
Game 5: Baltimore Ravens vs. Indianapolis Colts
When: Sunday, 10/05/2014 at 1:00 p.m.
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
Live Stream: NFL.com
Radio: 98 Rock, Sirius XM
Local Radio Crew: Gerry Sandusky, Stan White, Qadry Ismail
TV: CBS (coverage map)
TV Crew: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon
Preview: The last time these two teams met, it was the Wild Card round of the 2013 playoffs. Andrew Luck was a rookie, and the Ravens were on their way to a Super Bowl victory. The stout Ravens defense kept the Colts out of the end zone and limited them to nine points as Andrew Luck struggled.
A lot of things have changed since that game, including the departure of linebacker Ray Lewis, namely. Luck is no longer a rookie and is at the helm of a very prolific offense. The Colts have spent the last two weeks decimating the lowly Jaguars and Titans after beginning the season 0-2 in close games against the Broncos and Eagles.
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Meanwhile, the Ravens have recorded decisive victories against the Panthers and the Steelers at home, and beat the Browns with a last second field goal on the road. Outside of a loss in week one to the Bengals, they haven’t stumbled and the offense has improved with each passing week.
The Ravens defense has allowed a mere 16.6 points per game while shutting down opposing ground games. Their biggest weakness lies in the secondary, where poor safety play and the continued struggle of corner Lardarius Webb to get on the field have been a big problem for the Ravens.
The Colts defense has been bad against both the run and the pass, and they sorely miss Dwight Freeney. Their safety and linebacker play in coverage has been substandard, though they do employ a shutdown corner in Vontae Davis. Davis is likely to match up with Raven’s leading receiver Steve Smith in what should be an entertaining battle.
If the Ravens can take away the big play and sustain long drives while combating crowd noise, they have a good shot at winning their fourth game in a row. But we are worried about their ability to stop every weapon the Colts have on offense, of which there are many. The Ravens just don’t have enough bodies to cover them all, and that may prove to be the difference in this game.
Betting Line: Colts -3 1/2, 48 1/2u
Prediction: Colts 27, Ravens 21